Richard A. Hoffman, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist. Psychologists are doctors who study what influences and determines behavior, with special emphasis on thoughts and emotions that contribute to action. The field of psychology is divided into two major categories; experimental and clinical psychology. Experimental psychologists are people who are trained to focus their professional activities on laboratory research aimed ultimately at determining what causes behavior in certain settings. Clinical psychologists, as opposed to their experimental psychologist colleagues, are actually trained to apply the facts and principles they learn in their training to the work they do with human patients.
After college, clinical psychologists typically spend seven years taking courses and training as they work toward their doctorates. These courses include training in child psychology, theories of personality, abnormal psychology, statistics, research design and interpretation, personality testing, intelligence testing, testing for brain impairment, and psychotherapy. After their course work, clinical psychologists spend a year in a hospital setting being supervised as they work with patients. They then spend another year completing a dissertation; an extensive piece of research on an area of their particular interest. When all of this is completed, the psychologist is awarded a Ph.D. However, before being able to sit for the licensing examination, the clinical psychologist must spend another year as a psychology resident being supervised by an already licensed psychologist.
Dr. Hoffman has spent his entire professional career evaluating and treating patients for brain impairment and for the emotional effects of physical illnesses and injuries, as well as evaluating patients for the effects of discrimination and harassment. The terms used for these clinical psychology sub-specialties are neuropsychology and rehabilitation psychology. Over the past 30 years, Dr. Hoffman has evaluated and/or treated a minimum of 500 of each of these types of patients. These evaluations have several purposes. They first reflect on the credibility of complaints. This is done by administering objective measures of neuropsychological malingering. The actual neuropsychological tests delineate specifically impaired brain-behavior relationships that compromise or preclude functions and activities that were previously engaged in. The personality tests include validity scales to reflect on credibility of complaints. The clinical scales of these tests articulate psychological variables operating and interfering with the patient’s quality of life. A treatment program is then pursued which is typically aimed primarily at the patient adapting to his circumstance, identifying an acceptable level of function, and finding perspectives that give the patient’s life meaning and dimension. In addition to the above, and based on these test results and clinical interviews, Dr. Hoffman then identifies restrictions and limitations and assesses the patients suitability for employment as well as how well the patient would fit in various job settings. In addition to the above, Dr. Hoffman also maintains an active practice in general psychotherapy.